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My Kind of Company

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Mike

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Tyson Foods has been criticized for:
Health and Safety Seven workers were killed at Tyson facilities or facilities contracted by Tyson throughout 1999. There were no reported job-related deaths at any other poultry company's facilities in 1999. Tyson's had no fatalities for the three years prior to 1999, and as of September, there have been none in 2000 Source: Corporate Watch, December 30, 1999

Toxic Emissions or Discharges In 2004 Tyson was one of six poultry companies to pay a $7.3 million settlement fee to the city of Tulsa Oklahoma and its utility authority over charges that the companies had created phosphorus pollution in creeks and streams that feed into Lakes Eucha and Spavinaw, one of Tulsa's main drinking water sources. Source: Tulsa World, Feb. 5, 2005

Toxic Emissions or Discharges Tyson Foods pleaded guilty to 20 felony violations of the Clean Water Act for discharges from its poultry processing plant near Sedalia, Mo. The company agreed to pay $7.5 million in fines to the U.S. and Missouri governments, the Justice Department said. Source: The Washington Post- June 26, 2003

Worker Rights In February 2005 Human Rights Watch released a report that was the result of a year-long research into operations at three separate processing plants operated by Smithfield Foods plant , Tysons Foods and Nebraska Beef company. The report says workers at the plants are frequently injured, then refused medical care or fired. The report also alleges that repetitive motion injuries are universal in the industry, unsanitary conditions sometimes leave employees covered in animal wastes, and that worker attempts to unionize are sometimes violently quashed. Source: Virginia-Pilot, Feb. 18, 2005

Discrimination In September 2002 a jury awarded $3.5 million to two black Tyson's employees who claimed they were passed over for promotion because of their race. The lawsuit claimed the men, who worked for Tyson's 13 and 15 years, were passed over for shift manager positions that were awarded to less qualified white candidates. According to the men's attorney, "They had been told they needed a college degree, but one of the successful white applicants did not have a college degree." Source: NBC13.com

Legal Disputes Tyson is involved in at least six lawsuits over allegations that it doesn't pay its workers for the time it takes to get ready for and after their shifts.

* In 1999, 11 employees sued Tyson Foods in an attempt to collect the overtime they claim they are owed. The pay was for the time employees at the Albertville, Alabama plant spent gathering and putting on his protective gear and sanitizing equipment before and after work and for breaks. As of 2004 the suit was being considered for class-action status
* The Labor Department Solicitor's Office sued Tyson in 2002 seeking back wages and damages for current and former employees at the company's Blountsville, Alabama plant. The Labor Department also is trying to get a court order to force Tyson to pay all its employees for time spent putting on the protective gear and for cleaning up at the end of the day.
* In 2001 Tyson appealed a ruling involving more than 800 IBP workers who weren't paid while they were getting their protective gear on and sharpening their knives for the production line. The plaintiffs received a judgment of $3.2 million from the U.S. District Court in Washington, and their attorneys won about $1.2 million to cover the cost of fees.
* In 1998, workers at Tyson's Corydon, Indiana poultry plant filed a half million dollar lawsuit against the company after the Department of Labor determined that workers were being cheated out of 30 minutes of overtime pay each day.

Source: Arkansas Business, August 16, 2004

Legal Disputes Tyson Foods is among the companies that together have paid millions of dollars to settle federal government allegations that they had violated U.S. trade embargoes against rogue nations. The company reportedly shipped $250,000 worth of frozen chicken parts to Iraq through a broker in Jordan, violating the US trade embargo with Iraq. Tyson Foods paid a fine of $150,000 to settle the allegations. A Tyson Foods spokesman said the shipment was made by Hudson Foods, which was acquired by Tyson in 1998."When we purchased Hudson we acquired all the assets and liabilities, this being a liability.We weren't aware this activity occurred until after the purchase." Source: The Washington Post, July 3, 2002

Special Awards In 2002 BusinessWeek named Tyson Foods as having one of the worst corporate boards. The company was cited for having 10 of its 15 board members somehow tied to the company, including seven who have extensive business dealings. Additionally the company's CEO got a $2.1 million bonus for negotiating the acquisition of meatpacker IBP in a year when net income fell 42%. Source: BusinessWeek, Oct. 7, 2002

Toxic Emissions or Discharges The Sierra Club filed a legal action against Tyson Foods, which resulted in a 2005 settlement in which the company agreed to pay $ 500,000 to study ammonia emissions at two Kentucky poultry plants, and an undisclosed amount to three nearby residents for alleged air-quality damages. Source: Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 15 2005

Worker Strikes Workers at a Tyson Foods plant in Jefferson County Wisconsin went on strike for 11 months. The members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 538 walked out in protest over the company's push for wage, benefit and pension concessions in contract talks. Tyson said it offered the same wages and benefits that workers receive in its other plants. Local grocers refused to sell Tyson products in support of the strikers. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug. 12, 2003

Workplace
Executive Compensation In 2003, Chairman and CEO John H. Tyson made $29,853,299 in total compensation including stock option grants from Tyson Foods. And Tyson has another $4,028,000 in unexercised stock options from previous years. Source: AFL-CIO

Health and Safety In 1998, a jury awarded an employee at Tyson's Marshall, Missouri plant more than $1 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The woman said men employees made crude comments and touched her inappropriately, while her complaints to management were ignored. Source: The Kansas City Star, March 28, 1998

Worker Strikes In early 1999, over 300 workers at Tyson's Corydon Indiana plant went on strike for two months because they claimed that the company tried to take away 21 of their benefits when their contracts had come up for renewal. Source: Associated Press, February 24, 1999

Social
Ethics In 2004 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to let former employees of Tyson Foods Inc.'s IBP unit pursue a lawsuit that claimed the company sought to keep wages down by hiring illegal workers. The court, without comment, refused to hear the former employees' bid to pursue the claim without participation by their labor union. In late 2001, Tyson was indicted for conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants to 15 of its plants. Among the government's evidence were secret tape recordings of Tyson managers ordering more immigrant workers. The former workers claimed IBP used illegal alien workers to depress wages by about $4 an hour below what the company would have to pay if the labor force included only U.S. citizens and legal aliens. Attorneys for Tyson proved that the violations were isolated to a few middle managers and that the company shouldn't be held responsible. The company was aquitted in 2003. Source: Tulsa World. Nov. 4, 2004 et al

Ethics Tyson Foods was named one of Multinational Monitor's 10 Worst Corporations of 1997. The company pled guilty to paying illegal gratuities to former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. Tyson agreed to pay $6 million in fines and court costs. Source: Multinational Monitor, December 30, 1997

Other
Corporate Influence Tyson was named, along with IBP and Smithfield Foods, one of the Ten Worst Corporations of 2000 by Focus on the Corporation. On January 1, 2001, Tyson outbid Smithfield for IBP, creating a meat megaconglomerate that gives Tyson power to buy meat cheaply from farmers and charge meat retailers higher prices. Source: Mother Jones, January 3, 2001

Corporate Influence Tyson contributed $100,000 to the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee Source: Presidential Inaugural Committee

Environment
Biological Diversity and Habitats Tyson Foods' Tyson Seafoods Division was strongly criticized for its high-tech, large-scale factory fishing fleets, which were accused of wiping out traditional fishing communities, overexploiting the world's conventional fishstocks, and disrupting the biological diversity of the seas. In 1999 Tyson sold part of this division, which included three at-sea processing ships and 12 land-based processing plants, to Trident Seafoods Corp. Source: Corporate Watch

Toxic Emissions or Discharges Tyson formally filed a legal challenge to a pollution reduction requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency that requires local governments in the Atlanta metropolitan area to reduce phosphorous from wastewater discharge. Tyson claims that the restriction on the phosphorous pollution coming from Tyson's poultry plant is without any scientific, technical, regulatory, or statutory basis. Source: Reuters, April 6, 1999

Toxic Emissions or Discharges In July 1998, Tyson Food announced its intention to expand its operations in Oklahoma with the addition of 40 swine production facilities. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council "Oklahoma is experiencing an influx of massive swine factory farms that threaten to foul the state's scarce water supplies." Source: Natural Resources Defense Council

Toxic Emissions or Discharges In 1998, in a settlement reached with the Justice Department, Tyson Foods agreed to pay $6 million in fines over excessive chicken waste dumping by Hudson Foods, which Tyson bought in 1997. The settlement also called for Tyson to reduce the runoff from its plants in four states. Tyson noted the pollution occurred between 1993 and early 1997, before Tyson bought Hudson. Source: The Washington Post, May 8, 1998

Toxic Emissions or Discharges The state of Maryland accused Tyson Foods of dumping thousands of gallons of chicken sludge -- feathers and guts -- near waterways, where scientists say it could cause illnesses. Source: Associated Press, June 21, 1998
 

Sandhusker

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Yeah, but obeying environmental laws, following ethics and morals, and paying wages is expensive. If they didn't have to do any of those, they would be able to pay more for cattle. All those expenses are simply passed down to the producer. :wink:
 

PORKER

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Whew, they sure are not the best company to have buying farm products with a handshake .No wonder the Canadians couldn't get a audit,too much protection.........
 

Econ101

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I have relatives in TN where the illegal alien scam was going on. One of the "middle managers" in the plant in Shelbyville, TN on the illegal alien scam was reportedly found dead in a field not far from the plant. He supposedly committed suicide with a rifle. Funny how middle management in several Tyson locations were involved and not just one plant and it is still considered not a company problem. This case was pre- 9/11, I think. Funny how Mexicans are not that important in our legal system unless it has to do with National Security.

On the donning of protective clothing, I think the Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of employees in a case before it. Too bad these things have to be litigated all the way to the Supreme Court all the time. Looks like Tyson is just a sore loser. Scott, are you sure you are not related?
 

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